I did a complete dietary overhaul: organic fruit, meats, and dairy. I switched to natural skin care and makeup. I kept up with walking, light jogging, and prenatal yoga. Don't get me wrong, I still indulged in milkshakes, BLTs, and pizza, which may have led to gallstones later — but that's a whole other story!
I took prenatal vitamins, coenzyme Q10, DHA, and folic acid. I exercised three times a week with DVDs. I joined an online group to see what other people were doing.
There were 3 years between my first two children. While no one told me about optimal spacing, I reasoned it'd be best for my body to recover from pregnancy and nursing. I wish I knew about other birthing method options like midwifery. Understand your options, talk to friends, become informed.
I started taking folic acid six months before trying. … The best advice I got was to just relax. The worst thing you can do is overthink everything. Moderation is the key.
My husband and I had an open line of communication when it came to talking about having kids, but it took at least 6 months until we were on the same page. We had different timelines in mind at first. I think it's OK to have different perspectives as long as you're openly communicating them.
My husband and I communicated openly. We wanted to be loving and supportive through such a major life change, knowing the patterns we set would carry us through the haze of early parenthood – – and wow, was it a haze!
I gathered information on the best way to save for my children's college fund – – a separate savings account – – and creating a will. I checked with my employers about taking a paternity leave. Things went smoothly and I'd been well-prepared about what to expect by reading a few baby books.
Try not to put too much pressure on yourself. At first, I was very specific on which days to have sex, but it put too much pressure on us, so we had sex every other day. Not everything works out the way you plan, and that's OK. The bouncing baby you receive at the end is worth going through the unknown.
I minimized stress and learned not to sweat the small stuff. My advice: Knock both short- and long-term things off your to-do list. It's never too early to start looking at day cares or lining up newborn photography. It may sound crazy, but start a 529 savings plan. College is more expensive every year.
I got lucky and came across a birth-control segment on TV. The teacher was telling couples there are 2 days per month when sexual activity should be avoided if you don't want to get pregnant. We took advantage of that advice and tried several times on those days to get pregnant. Sure enough, it worked.
I stayed stress-free and healthy. I took prenatal vitamins and walked 10,000-15,000 steps a day. We visited three doctors before choosing one who was knowledgeable and made us feel comfortable. We got ready financially because I was planning to take a year off and we were expecting family members from out of town.
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